As a part of a major expansion, popular chat app Viber has now launched ‘Viber Games' worldwide in partnership with leading game developers.
The company currently has three games which are standalone apps that users can download from the Play Store or iTunes. They include Viber Pop, Viber Candy Mania and Wildluck Casino. The users will also be able to send game invites via Viber and see which games their friends are currently playing.
With this move, the company hopes to increase some user engagement along with cashing in via in-app purchases for power-ups, additional lives and more.
In conversation with TechCrunch, Viber CEO Talmon Marcos said that he is excited to bring the titles to more of Viber's international user base, which currently stands at 236 million active monthly users. The CEO declined to provide any specific details about the pilot, but said that the initial engagement data was encouraging.
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As of now, Viber makes money from games, sticker sales and its Skype-like international calling plans. Other messaging apps like Line generate half of their revenue through in-app purchases while Tencent's mobile revenue has surged thanks to WeChat's games catalog.
Viber, which was bought by Rakuten for $900 million early last year, has also launched ‘Public Chats' which allows users to read celebrity conversations. The initial users of the new service include blogger Perez Hilton, the DJ Paul van Dyk, European football channel COPA90 and the Next Model Management modeling agency. It will be available to other users over time.